MSO performs in Vicksburg
I grew up in New York on Long Island and started playing violin as a young child at 4 years of age. I was taught the Suzuki method and attended group violin classes until I began private lessons around 1st grade. It was not until late high school when I really decided I wanted to play the violin for more than just recreation. My teacher at this time was Linda Sinanian, a truly wonderful solo and chamber violinist who has also served in several orchestras. I attribute much of my growth as a violinist to her patient and thorough teaching. She prepared me and enabled me to be accepted at Cedarville University in Ohio, in the Fall of 2000. At Cedarville, I studied with Stacey Wooley, a member of the Cincinnati Symphony. Through the dedicated teachers at the University, I gained the knowledge and tools to continue my performance study at the University of Akron. Alan Bodman, concert master of the Akron Symphony Orchestra, accepted me as a student in 2005. Through his very organized and attentive coaching, I was able to improve as a violinist more than I could have ever thought possible in 2 years. I graduated with my Master of Music Degree in Violin Performance in 2007.
I currently perform with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra located in downtown Jackson. I also play weddings and events in the Clinton and Jackson MS Metro areas. I run my own private violin and viola studio out of my home in Clinton MS and teach adjunct violin at Mississippi College.
I have a heart for private lessons and providing a solid musical foundation for violin and viola students of all ages and ability levels. I believe one of the great benefits of quality instruction is the opportunity it gives students to follow their love for music wherever it may take them.
Natural talent, dedication and hard work all play a role in any student succeeding at an instrument, but I believe dedication and hard work to be the most defining factors. This is why I do not audition students, but take students of all ages and ability levels in my studio as long as they are committed to putting in the hard work it takes to learn.
I do not teach any pre-organized method. I use some of the method teaching books available (e.g., Suzuki) but my teaching style is catered toward each individual student. I believe each student comes to me with specific needs, talents and goals. I see my students as individuals and strive to create a logical progression of material for each student as it pertains to these three factors. While doing this, I maintain the importance of teaching all my students correct technique, musicianship skills, and the ability to read music and understand music as a whole. Each student will study scales, etudes and repertoire in a way that contributes to both these end goals.
Developing the whole musician from the start is key to providing quality instruction and allows my students to progress successfully. Without a comprehensive approach to music, students will eventually be held back by underdeveloped areas in their abilities. I seek to save my students from the rigorous and daunting task of undoing bad habits later in their musical education by keeping abreast of each student as a whole musician right from their first lesson.
I also believe that students who have not had this instruction from the start can still succeed. I have a desire to help students who have not had the advantage of quality teaching in one or more areas, to overcome their weaknesses and turn these weaknesses into strengths. With dedication and hard work each student can succeed!
For more about my Clinton, MS Violin Studio and teaching approach please visit my Lessons page.
I currently live in Clinton, Mississippi with my husband, Benjamin Williams, who is a composer employed at Mississippi College where he teaches music and composition classes. Aside from my musical activities, I enjoy cooking, baking, reading, swimming, supporting local shelters and animal care groups, ballroom dancing, chatting at coffee shops with my husband, cuddling with my two cats, and visiting with family and friends. I am very involved in my local church as a choir member, attend a weekly women's Bible study and teach a Sunday School class with my husband. I find great pleasure in serving and worshipping my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I play on a modern instrument made by Damon Gray of Cincinnati Ohio. A Tone Award winner, 2004 Violin Society of America Competition, Gray's instruments are played by musicians in major symphony orchestras throughout the country. Completed in 2003, Gray constructed the instrument in the style of Antonio Stradivari. Gray used the traditional finely grained clear spruce for its top, but my instrument is rather unique in that instead of the usual two piece maple back, Gray chose to construct the back of one piece of yellow birch. Angled flames on its ribs instead of the traditional vertical flames also set this instrument a part.
Read more about Damon Gray and his instruments on his website: http://damongrayviolins.com/
My bow is an original work of Williams Hill of England. Founded in 1887, W. E. Hill & Sons gained a widespread reputation for excellence. A "Hill's" Certificate of Authenticity was considered definitive worldwide throughout the firm's history and their bows in particular are still sought out by musicians world wide. The year of completion on this particular bow is unknown, but the bow is constructed of very select Pernambuco wood. The frog is ebony, lined with silver.
You can hear me play this violin/bow combination on these 2011 recordings.Both pieces were composed by my husband, Benjamin Williams. View more of his works at www.williamscomposer.com/
Benjamin Williams was commissioned to write The Incarnate Word in 2011 by Mississippi College to be sung by their well known choral group, Singers. It was premiered at their annual Festival of Lights winter concert. This recording is from that premier at Provine Chapel on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton, MS.
The Eve of Autumn was composed by Benjamin Williams in 2007. I had the opportunity to premiere this piece at The Ohio State University that same year. The performance heard hear is our 2011 performance done for a Sclater Chamber Music Series concert in Aven Recital Hall on the campus of Mississippi College. Performing are Emily Williams, violin; Stephanie Maisel, cello; and Benjamin Williams, piano.
Check my Performances page for upcoming concerts!